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Miami Officials Okay Soccer Stadium
Reuters, December 20th, 2007 5:15PM

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Public officials in Miami want Major League Soccer to return to the area. On Tuesday, Miami Dade County officials backed a massive redevelopment project in the city's downtown area that would include the building of a soccer specific stadium and new baseball park. The city is prepared to sink $50 million into the stadium.

"Mayor [Manny] Diaz has been a champion of the sport and has been speaking with us for more than a year," MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche told Reuters. Despite the enthusiasm of the city over a Miami MLS franchise, as yet there is no investor in the initiative. However, Courtemanche assured Reuters that "multiple individuals and organizations that have contracted us regarding an expansion team -- the interest is there."

MLS will have 14 teams next season as the San Jose Earthquakes rejoin the league under new management. The following season, it will add Seattle and then at least one more in 2010. In all, MLS commissioner Don Garber hopes to have 18 teams by 2011. Philadelphia and St. Louis are the other frontrunners for the 15th MLS franchise, which will be handed out next March.

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